Chicago Catholic LGBT Community Divided over Cardinal George

A Time for Prayer and Integrity

A Time for Prayer and Integrity

The Archdiocese Gay and Lesbian Outreach (AGLO) will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary on June 16, 2013, Sunday, @ 7PM at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on Belmont Ave in the heart of Boystown.

The Chicago LGBT Roman Catholic Community is divided over whether Cardinal Francis George should be invited to this community Liturgy.

Without consultation of its membership or the vast majority of people that attend this liturgy, who are not members of the organization; the AGLO Board of Directors has chosen a reckless, divisive course of action by ignoring the reality of the Cardinals long, antagonistic, and biased relationship with the Chicago LGBT Community over the years, which in my opinion can only be attributed to a clueless mentality.

Most recently George’s pointed and very public attacks on Gay Marriage, Immigration reform which seeks protection for LGBT families’, and women’s ordination can only be understood in terms of bigotry. Those attacks have only harmed innocent members of our community, and beyond. Sadly the AGLO Board has chosen to be blind to these facts, and put their trust in the Cardinal’s pious prattle. He condemns those who Christ did not condemn.

Why is the AGLO Board of Directors so silent when the Cardinal asks of us to embrace Christ spirit by rejecting our God given ability to love? Or, even the promotion by the Cardinal of the ridiculous idea that AGLO supports celibacy for its membership? Homophobia whether external or internal is wrong.

The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) is calling the AGLO Board of Directors to join us in telling the Cardinal he is not welcome in our community as long as he promotes such negative messaging whose only reasonable outcomes will be violence directed at our community. Should he come to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on June 16 he will be met with open opposition.

Please do not use this sacred liturgy as a backdrop to celebrate your 25th Anniversary in such a disrespectful, disgraceful, and dismissive manner to the LGBT Community.

The Chicago Rainbow Sash Movement is calling on the Chicago AGLO Board of Directors to call on Cardinal George not to come to their 25th Anniversary.

RSM Board of Directors

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Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) Calls for Prayers for the Passage of Gay Marriage in Illinois

The LGBT Community in the state of Illinois faces the very real question of justice in the form of Marriage Equality legislation. Presently that legislation is stalled in Illinois House of Representatives. We are asking for prayers from the various Catholic parishes across state, on March 24th the anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, a prominent human rights defender who was murdered during the Salvadorean civil war, for the passage of this legislation.

We believe our allegiances cannot be divided between the Gospels and Gay Marriage. We understand there is no gospel apart from the Good News proclaimed to the LGBT Community in need of Justice and fairness, and the Gospel proclaimed to other groups in need of liberation.

Here is a link if you wish to find out more about Archbishop Romero’s death on the altar of hate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=21CN815v2G0#!.

Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago: An Open letter Concerning LGBT Children

Joe_Murray_Cardinal_George_edited-4

Eminence:

I hope this public letter finds you in good health.

The issue of LGBT kids in Catholic homes, and homeless LGBT children on the streets of our city is in my opinion a scandal; not because of those who are helping, but because of those who are not.

Recently I became aware of what is happening at Old St. Patrick’s Parish about LGBT children in Catholic homes. My joy over this effort quickly evolved into concern.

What concerns me the most are the conflicting messages that I am getting about the group’s purpose and the role the Church’s teaching on the homosexual person will play. Additionally, I am told you are opposed to working with PFLAG because you feel this organization is too political, rather you are encouraging a Catholic response to PFLAG.

My problem and the reason for this letter is the apparent lack of consistency when it comes to the promotion of the Church’s Teaching on the homosexual person. This wink and nod attitude in its promotion will only put these children in harm’s way.

As you know I am opposed to this Teaching, and believe that reasonable people in the Church will also be opposed to it if they are made aware of its hazardous implications to the mental health of LGBT children. I believe the current atmosphere in the Church not to be supportive of LGBT couples, their children, or that of straight couples who have LGBT children.

We are called to do better than this especially when it comes to children’s safety.

I will keep you in my prayers especially during this historical time in the Church.

Sincerely,

Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Rainbow Sash Movement sees a perversion of religious power in the Gay Marriage Debate

The Illinois Catholic Conference announced they are organizing a lobbying day for February 20, 2013. John Cullerton president of the Illinois State Senate said his intent is to introduce the Gay Marriage Bill and immediately pass it over to the House for passage hopefully by Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013.

Cardinal Francis George’s approach when it comes to marriage is that one size fits all. Thus he would have us believe that his sacramental view of marriage is embraced by all, or at least should be embraced by all. The Rainbow Sash Movement would tend to agree with George that marriage today is broken or a wounded institution, but responsibility for this problem should not be placed at the feet of the LGBT Community. Nor should it be used as a reason to deny LGBT people the right to marry.

We do not stand alone in the Catholic Church in supporting Gay Marriage as poll after poll have shown, on the contrary it is the ecclesiastical authority who are not listening to the people of God.

The Cardinal’s focus on Marriage appears to be from a religious perspective only, and the religious ceremonies that initiate it. In the Cardinals mind Civil Marriage has become confused with the sacramental principle. He cannot understand this because of his theology. Marriage for most LGBT people is about friendship, support, love, legal protection and adoption.

The state does not understand marriage as a covenant with God as the Cardinal does. From the state’s perspective marriage is a legal contract between two people. Because it is a contract it can be broken under our no fault divorce laws. In our opinion, Gay Marriage is about evolving that contract to include LGBT people it has nothing to do with sacramental marriage on the contrary if it was about sacramental marriage divorce would not be an option. Gay Marriage should not be about promoting or not-promoting ones religious belief.

We believe it is important that reasonable people in Chicago raise their voices against those who would promote such a double standard and stand with us. We are encouraged to see both rational Democrats and Republicans in Springfield reaching across the aisle to pass this legislation.

We invite people of good will both gay and straight, Catholic and Non Catholic to join us in asking for fairness when it comes to Marriage Equality

We believe this to be another historical step in the arch of the social justice journey for Civil Rights. Join us with the Gay Liberation Network outside of Holy Name Cathedral on Sunday, February 10, @ 10:30AM.

Rainbow Sash Movement News

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Mayor Emmanuel Please Reconsider your decision on Catholic Charities and homeless LGBT youth.

Why is Mayor Emmanuel not supporting homeless LGBT youth on the streets? While the Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) understands the Mayor’s need to cut wasteful spending, we don’t understand why he is dismissing the needs of LGBT Youth by turning over some services to Catholic Charities.
Now homeless youth are encouraged by local none Catholic Churches on the north side to ride the Blue Line during late hours in order to get sleep in a safe environment. Some of these Churches are opening their facilities to homeless LGBT/Straight youth to provide showers on the weekend. Lakeview Presbyterian supports a Cafe Pride that gives LGBT youth a safe space for about 4 hours every Friday night.
Have you heard about The Crib? It’s Chicago’s only overnight, low-threshold shelter for homeless gay and straight youth ages 18-24. Staffed by The Night Ministry, it is located at Lakeview Lutheran Church, on Chicago’s North Side. What is the Catholic Church doing around this issue absolutely nothing and that includes Catholic Charities. This facility was recently closed for the summer because of lack of funding.
The RSM is concerned that Mayor Emanuel is willing to turn over the operation of providing rides to these homeless youths to Catholic Charities an organization that has already closed down it adoption agencies across the state, and has decided not to re-open up its Chicago operation because the clients were LGBT. We do not think it is unreasonable to ask will LGBT youth get a fair shake from Catholic Charities if they already refuse to serve LGBT families.
While the Mayors goal is laudable we have to ask is it prudent given Catholic Charities track record and willingness not to serve the LGBT Community, or to even engage in dialogue about the issue. We understand the Mayor will use money saved by this transfer to Catholic Charities as a way to save $1.7 million in annual savings, and that would allow for the city to provide more beds at area shelters, but at what cost to LGBT Youth. We should not be robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Since evil is the defect of the good, the lack of a good that ought to be there and nothing positive in itself, it follows that the greatest evil is found where the highest good has been corrupted. Equal access is the highest good in this case.
We do not believe the needs of LGBT Youth should be dismissed in order to get Catholic Charities on board with this program. We are calling on the mayor to reconsider his decision, or to guarantee that Catholic Charities will serve all youth regardless of their sexual orientation.
Board of Directors
Rainbow Sash Movement
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Rainbow Sash Movement Alert Concerning the Chicago Pride Parade

If you are planning on attending the Chicago Gay Pride Parade this Sunday, June 24 kicking off at 12 Noon the Rainbow Sash Movement is advising extreme caution for personal safety. We all want to have a good time and celebrate pride but in years past public intoxication and drug abuse mixed with the growing crowd control problem have in our opinion reached a critical level. Last year we had a crowd of between 750,000 and 800,000 according to the City of Chicago Police Department estimates. This year that number is reasonably expected to increase, and may even reach the 1 Million Mark.
The Lakeview neighborhood the parade is scheduled move through is not capable of handling these extreme numbers of party goers. We are advising the very old and families with young children to exercise extreme caution if you must go out between the hours of 12 Noon and 4PM.
Last year city emergency vehicles found it next to impossible getting to people in need of those emergency services. What has been done to insure that does not happen again this year, or at the very least minimize it?
Have Alderman Tunney (44th Ward) and Cappleman (46th Ward) put together a strategic plan to insure public safety, or is this something Mayor Emmanuel’s Office is handling?
Last year the Chicago Police Department did not have a handle on the crowd control situation, and Chicago Public Transit stops on the Red Line at Belmont and Addison were closed down because of a dangerous overcrowding of that system. What plans if any have been made with the CTA to minimize this interruption of service? So people seeking to leave the area can do it safely.
We would also recommend that CTA make available more cooling buses throughout the parade route for seniors and the very young, and that the location of these cooling buses be better advertised on the CTA system, and elsewhere.
While the expanding of the parade route might satisfy the flow of the parade itself it does little or next to nothing in controlling the crowds that will be attracted to the Halsted area between Belmont and Halsted, and Broadway and Halsted. The true magnet for many of the party goers will be the bars that line the streets between these two major intersections. It is here we had incidents in the past such as fights and other public altercations.
The Rainbow Sash Movement is asking those who come to the Pride Parade to exercise caution, if you are going to drink do so responsibly and not to point of intoxication. Also recognize that when exiting the area after the parade some public transportation facilities may not be readily available so be prepared to walk long distances wear comfortable shoes.
Our police department will be working under some very difficult situations when it comes to crowd control, and enforcing the open container law. These men and women are there for our safety so be sure to be respectful, and if you have an extra bottle of cold water don’t be afraid to share it with them. We all need to be properly hydrated during this warm weather.
Celebrate Pride responsibly.
Robert Kline
Rainbow Sash Movement
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Support Religious Women at Old St. Patricks

Stand with Women Religious

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